With schools back in session this week, it may be helpful to review laws concerning passing school buses.

Many motorists are unaware of the penalties for passing stopped school buses, despite the efforts to raise awareness, some drivers still fail to stop.

Before stopping a school bus for picking up or letting off children, a bus driver is required to activate amber flashing signal lamps. Once the bus comes to a complete stop, the bus driver is required to extend the stop arm and activate the red flashing signal lights prior to opening the door of the bus.

If a school bus is stopped to pick up or let out passengers with the stop arm and signal lights activated, drivers must stop whether the bus is oncoming or you are behind the bus.

Vehicles shall not proceed until the bus has completely let out or picked up all passengers and started moving.

A B.C. bus driver raised the alarm after many near misses involving careless drivers. A reporter from CTV went for a ride along with the driver and showed us some of the close calls.

Increased Fines

The province increased the fine amount in May 2016, to help deter people from illegally passing school buses.

For a first offense, the penalty is $368. However, it goes up dramatically after that.

For drivers who receive a second ticket it will be $668, and a third offence will actually run a motorist over $1000 for that third offence alone.

Drivers will continue to receive three penalty points on top of the increased fine.